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The Netherworld


I started to feel like I had no idea what I'd gotten us into when the person working the desk asked what our shoe sizes were. You have to wear special shoes for this shit? And when people started streaming out of the class before ours absolutely drenched in sweat, I really started to doubt myself. We went into the studio, and the entire room was dark save for –  there is no other word for it – the altar in the front, which contained one bike surrounded by candles aflame. It was at that point that I began to wonder if this was the last day of my life, or if before class was over I would witness some type of barnyard animal sacrificed to Cthulhu.


Before we began, our instructor (guru? demi-god?) Nick asked from the altar if any of us were new to SoulCycle. The four of us raised our hands. Nick enthusiastically suggested we not worry so much about the choreography this time around. The what now? Then he turned down the lights, turned up the college-campus-club-night remixes, and started barking instructions into his headset microphone. He also danced provocatively while watching himself in the mirrors, eventually taking his shirt off altogether, twirling it around his head and throwing it across the room. We were on our seats, off our seats, utilizing three different handlebar positions, varying the bike's resistance and pumping free-weights around, all while Nick yelled over the music, "HA! and HA! and HA and HA and HA!"


Afterward, the four of us stood in the parking lot discussing whether or not we thought Nick was on drugs. Kara said he was just assuming a persona, and is actually a completely different guy in his real life. I'm imagining him home right now, drinking chamomile in his jimjams. But I'd bet anything that that man is immortal, and stays up all night guarding the gates to the netherworld like a junkyard dog. 

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